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Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone - First Look!

Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone - First Look!

Zoe Saldana shows off her afro hairdo on the set of her new film Nina on Thursday (October 25) in Los Angeles.

The 34-year-old actress is taking on the title role of Nina Simone in the story of the late jazz musician and classical pianist, including her rise to fame and relationship with her manager Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo).

Nina, which was written and will be directed by The Brave One‘s Cynthia Mort, is expected to be released next year.

20+ pictures inside of Zoe Saldana on the set of Nina

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Photos: FameFlynet Pictures
Posted to: Nina, Zoe Saldana

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  • Sign it

    Love Nina

  • Passport Stamps

    Hmmmm adepero oduye would have been a better fit for this role.

  • tye :)

    i was thinking the same thing adepero oduye or india arie
    but well see how she does.

  • 14

    Nina’s family did not agree to this film. Just disrespectful.

  • mrs_fuzzybee

    Hmm…the dark makeup on Zoe is still not making her as deep chocolate brown as Nina Simone. Mary J Blige was a great choice for the role of Nina. Wish they’s stuck with Mary even though she doesn’t have the acting chops of Zoe.

  • Deb Shaw

    @mrs_fuzzybee: agreed

  • chris

    I finally figured out why the Cloud Atlas director had to use Halle Berry in his movie. Zoe Saldana was busy. I hope Zoe’s publicist reads this. She’s a humble, underrated talent & a beautiful woman. She’s every thing Halle is not. Zoe OWNED Avatar.

  • Stupid Hollywood

    Nina Simone was a dark skinned woman not light skinned or racially mixed! They could have found an up and coming actress or someone from the broadway stage to play this role. It’s not like Zoe Saldana is a box office draw. Yet as always in HW they are afraid of dark complexions with the acception of Viola Davis, who could have pulled this role off as way better than Zoe. Shame on HW, shame, shame!!

  • http://diversgurl LETTE

    @Stupid Hollywood: D – I -T – T – O

  • Susan

    MARIANNE JEAN BAPTISTE would have been perfect! She was in the show Without a Trace. She looks a lot like Nina.

    Mary J Blige would not have been a good choice.

  • lola


    Mary J. Blige has lighter skin then Zoe FYI.

  • Tracy

    Very BAD choice!

  • mariuppie

    Not only her skin complexion was 100% dark, Nina was healthy, not anorexic, at least that I can remember….

  • You are correct


    Nina was a full body woman not a toothpick.

  • mrs_fuzzybee

    @lola: On what planet? I’ve met Mary face to face she is not light skinned in the slightest. She is medium skin toned like me. In fact Mary joked that I was cafe au lait and she was straight black coffee. Her complexion is flawless though I remain envious of how perfect her skin was. The makeup her makeup artist use for photos now may make the untrained eye think she’s lighter than she is because the HD makeup for dark skin is very reflective.

  • tara

    It will be a very difficult role for Zoe. I think the producers wanted someone more famous, but they should have respected Nina’s family’s decisions. Zoe is not Meryl Streep, but we’ll see,,,,

  • hmmm

    can she sing?

  • W

    @chris: Please stop pitting women against each other.
    Both Halle and Zoe are good actresses in their own right.
    Why does it always have to be ONE black or biracial actress at a time!? Sheesh, we can have two or even more popular black actresses at the same time you know….

  • mrst

    Really people. This seems to only be an issue when women are cast in a role for a woman of color that they don’t match exactly. Denzil Washington played Malcolm X and did a superb job but he in no way looked like him but he carried off his mannerism in such a way that you forgot you were looking at Denzil and only say Malcolm X. I wish Zoe the best of luck and many blessings…=)

  • anna

    they really couldn’t have found a black actress?

  • Elena

    Zoe is a great afro-latina actress and no one is denying her blackness or her talent. but at the end of the day when you’re making a biographical film about a real person, and that person’s dark* brown skin colour, wide nose, full lips, curvaceous body DIRECTLY affected her life and her success (or lack there of in the beginning of her career) you have to wonder, what the f*ck is going on in hollywood. now they’re just openly sh*tting on black women.

    especially when there are countless talented dark-skinned black women (adepero oduye, viola davis, kimberly elise, the list goes on) that would’ve done an amazing job.

    but here’s zoe, in a prosthetic nose and blackface. really b*tch? she should have turned down the role.

  • Love The Shoes

    This should have been Adepero Oduye’s role or India Irie’s role. Viola would have been amazing or just too many others over this waif Zoe Saldana. No reason someone should have to be faked up to play this amazing black woman, no reason at all. I won’t be seeing it. As Nina’s #1 fan I am officially on the record protesting it. If Nina was alive Zoe would not be her choice. I’m outdone by this. This is as dumb as Andre 3000 staring in a movie about Jimi Hendrix but no Jimi Hendrix music is in it!

  • mimi

    How utterly ridiculous. I will not pay to see this movie.

  • PuertoRicanGurl

    Zoe Saldana is not racially mixed are you crazy and she certainly isn’t light skinned. Zoe has been bleaching her skin lately because she is three shades lighter than she use to be and she straightens her hair and she has a wide nose! Zoe could never play Lena Horne in a movie that would be ridiculous. Zoe Kravitz is light skinned not Zoe Saldana.

  • Ami

    I can’t stand her black asses. Tarbaby.

  • starsh

    I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this but I have seen many many pics of Zoe Saldana: in these shots she has been ‘uglied’ up with dark makeup. Why didn’t they just choose a different, more accurately ‘Simon-like’ actress? One who didn’t need make-up? Makes no sense. This is a biopic!

  • JenFro

    @Passport Stamps:
    I agree completely… She more believable.

  • Ashcan

    Remember, similar arguments arose when Forest Whitaker played Idi Imin in the Last King of Scotland. Idi is Ugandan, Forest is African-American, perhaps the role should have and could have been played by a Ugandan, HOWEVER, at least they are BOTH Black men. Now apply this principle to this movie.